When You Have Boundaries, Be Prepared for Others, Especially Bullies, to Accuse You of Having “An Attitude.”

Girl sitting on the ground and drawing personal space. Selective focus

Many times, when we set boundaries and refuse to lower our standards, we’re accused of having “an attitude.” Lord only knows how many times I got that response when I either said no to something I didn’t like or refused to be manipulated or to take abuse. Therefore, it’s better to accept, even embrace, the reality that others will see you as doing just that- having an attitude when you stand on your principles.

Toxic teachers will assume that you’re insubordinate. Abusive managers and supervisors will think you’re not a team player, and bullying peers will see you as a ‘difficult’ person to be around, and that’s only a very mild version of what they may call you.

Understand that anytime we enforce our boundaries and standards, we become threats to abusers. We expose the manipulative people in our lives through the limits we set and see them more clearly. Why? Because we force them to tell off on themselves through their very reactions toward us.

Through having boundaries and standards, we can better tell the difference between real friends and fake ones. We can better see which people are truly for us and value our friendship and which ones are only in our lives because they want something from us.

Like all abusers, bullies feel entitled to devalue you and expect you to “just go with the flow” and not object to it. With these types of people, your healthy boundaries and standards are an insult to them. Why? Because they don’t recognize limits.

In their minds, anything goes, and the world and everything in it is one big free-for-all. In other words, any rules, laws, or limits don’t apply to them.

Bullies and frenemies believe they should have carte blanche to treat you any way they choose. They get super offended when you get enough of their abuse and finally have the courage to put your foot down. Accept that you will lose people you think are friends when you establish boundaries and standards. And they will often be the people you’d never expect.

But realize that these peoples’ condescension and dismissal are only proof of their discomfort and their only recourse. Bullies can’t handle an assertive person of incredible strength because they can never meet them on their level.

Also, understand that you cannot grow, be safe, or be free if you don’t set boundaries, and in many cases, people go out of their way to prevent targets of bullying and abuse from imposing any limits. It seems that boundaries and standards are okay for anyone else but strictly prohibited for targets.

But realize that you cannot continue to live your life as a doormat. Therefore,  you must dig deep and pull out the courage to establish your boundaries, which include,

Physical boundaries

Psychological boundaries

Time boundaries

No entry sign with barrier tape

Material boundaries

Intellectual boundaries

You are a flesh-and-blood human being who has rights! And sometimes, you must “cop an attitude” to defend those rights and enforce your boundaries from relentless bullies and other fakers who won’t take no from an answer and continue to violate them.

When you set firm boundaries and standards, you protect your physical well-being, emotional health, self-esteem, and identity from anyone who seeks to destroy them. You make yourself an individual human being who asserts your right to make your own choices and decisions.

(Continued in Part 2)

26 thoughts on “When You Have Boundaries, Be Prepared for Others, Especially Bullies, to Accuse You of Having “An Attitude.”

    • Pretty much the same, Michael. They wanted you to take their crap and when you didn’t, they called you an a-hole, translation, they didn’t like your attitude. 🙂

  1. Girl Cherie, I agree with you, anytime we enforce our boundaries and standards, intellectually or socially, we become threats to abusers and those frenemies! 😖 I know if they are prevented from bulldozing their way through your life, you become the problem. Nope girlfriend, this makes zero sense, but the abusers go all out anyway, to try to make your life as miserable as possible! THE BOUNDARIES against abuse, like it or not, we shall exercise our power to fight back!!! 🥊🤺🤨

  2. I agree. As a practitioner of Aikido and Verbal Aikido, I believe there is also an issue about the duty we have to defend ourselves without aggression, whether physically or verbally. This is rarely taught but is becoming a vital skill in today’s world.

    (By the way, the link to the second part seems not to be working. You might want to check it out).

  3. I recall the first time I learned about setting boundaries…”No, I decline to do that.” It was life changing. And no, I did not learn it once as in ‘presto, zappo’ but over the years…and I have never forgotten the lesson.

  4. Although I may have already stated this in an earlier blog post: As a non-diagnosed ‘neuro-divergent’ boy with autism spectrum disorder and high sensitivity (thus not always easy to deal with), the first and most formidable authority-figure abuser with whom I was terrifyingly trapped was my Grade 2 teacher, Mrs. Carol, in the early 1970s. Although I can’t recall her abuse against me in its entirety, I’ll nevertheless always remember how she had the immoral audacity — and especially the unethical confidence in avoiding any professional repercussions — to blatantly readily aim and fire her knee towards my groin, as I was backed up against the school hall wall. Fortunately, though, she missed her mark, instead hitting the top of my left leg. Though there were other terrible teachers, for me she was uniquely traumatizing, especially when she wore her dark sunglasses when dealing with me.

    For other students back then and there, however, there was Mrs. Carol’s sole Grade 2 counterpart — similarly abusive but with the additional bizarre, scary attribute of her eyes abruptly shifting side to side. Not surprising, the pair were quite friendly with each other. It was rumored the latter teacher had a heroin addiction, though I don’t recall hearing of any solid proof of that. I remember one fellow second-grader’s mother going door to door in my part of town seeking out any other case of a student who, like her son, had been assaulted by that teacher. I had not told anyone about my own ordeal with my (the other) Grade 2 teacher, and I just stood there silently as my astonished mother conversed with the woman.

    • Whoa! I’m sorry you went through that hell! And yes, there were a few sadistic teachers back then and there are a few today too. It’s sad.

      Do tell your story when you’re ready. People need to speak out about abuse against kids on the autism spectrum!

  5. Awesome post. It’s an eye opener and a must read blog for every individual who is vulnerable to bullying. It’s highly inspiring. I liked it so much that I have shared this post with my family and friends. I was once a victim of bullying myself but I had to muster courage and then successfully managed to teach the bully a lesson.

  6. My roommate does no respect boundaries at all. If I have asked him to leave my things alone he tells me I’m crazy. This is not his house and as been told that by our landlord. I have to keep bedroom locked. I realize he can still get in is he wants. I have a nanny cam on the way. He is like a snake 🐍 ready to strike. I will move just as soon as I can get my first disability check. In the mean time I group text to keep my story out there. It felt so good to text this. Most people blow me off and tell me to get over it, hang in there. I pray everyday for strength to endure 🙏🏻

    • My heart goes out to you, Brenda. 💔 I’m so sorry this guy won’t respect your boundaries. I pray that God open a door and you get out of that toxic environment soon! 🙏💐💖 In the meantime. Keep asserting your boundaries, honey. You have a right to be treated with respect.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.